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Chess 2001/02 Danish tour cast recording

Chess is the only musical which could get real use out of RCS, there've been that many variations since the release of the concept album 20 years ago.

This release of the 2001/2002 Danish tour cast CD is a near complete recording of the original London stage version (which differs from the original concept album and the Broadway version and the Australian version and the Scandinavian tour version and the... well you get the idea).

Some of the arrangements are too syncopated, cheeky or bombastic for my liking, though they settle down in the second act.

More than a smattering of book dialogue is included... which was a mistake - the acting is uniformly bad.

Vocally it's a different story. Emma Kershaw as Florence is very good. Gunilla Backman makes a sympathetic Svetlana. Zubin Varla is suitably ranty as Freddy though he does terrible things to his larynx going for the C in "Pity the Child". I should like Stig Rossen's Anatoly more than I do, but found him bland. Then again, maybe that's just the part. Strange hearing Michael Cormick rocking it up as the Arbiter, I associate him with more "straight" roles.

Overall, this is worth listening to, though the concept album remains the definitive recording IMO.

Comments (1)

Clive Furness:

Does anyone know where I can buy a copy of the Chess Danish Tour album?

By the way (nerd comment now) its a C# at the end of Pity the Child - the reason I know is that i played Freddie and sung it!


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